A Time for Every Organ in Your Body

Did you know that every organ in the body has a time of the day or night when it is most active? In the table below you will find listed the organ, the time in which it is most active, and the association to be drawn from this information.

Time Organ Association
5 A.M. to 7 A.M. Large Intestine You find yourself needing to use the restroom to eliminate not only liquid but also solid waste.
7 A.M. to 9 A.M. Stomach This is a good time to eat a hearty breakfast
9 A.M. to 11 A.M. Spleen The digestion process is taking place
11 A.M. to 1 P.M. Heart Bitter tastes feed the heart. This is a good time for a cup of coffee
1 P.M. to 3 P.M. Small Intestine Time for some lunch
3 P.M. to 5 P.M. Urinary Bladder Elimination of liquid wastes
5 P.M. to 7 P.M. Kidneys Take in some nourishing liquid such as an herbal tea that supports the kidneys
7 P.M. to 9 P.M. Pericardium Have a light meal
9 P.M. to 11 P.M. Triple Heater Relaxation
11 P.M. to 1 A.M. Gall Bladder Sleep
1 A.M. to 3 A.M. Liver The body is working to restore itself
3 A.M. to 5 A.M. Lungs Deep sleep

quotescover-JPG-46From 5A.M to 7A.M. the large intestine is most active. This is the time when one should use the rest room to eliminate solid and liquid waste. This should happen naturally. If you find that you are prone to constipation then a good strong cup of coffee, without sugar or milk, should do the trick. On the other hand if you find that you have diarrhoea then a ginger tea or spicy soup can help.

From 7 A.M. to 9 A.M. the stomach is the most active. This is a good time to have a filling breakfast. The stomach is pumped and ready to break down all that lovely goodness. It is also good to remember to chew the food properly before swallowing as digestion does start in the mouth.

From 9 A.M. to 11A.M. the spleen does a lot of its work. The spleen is an organ that is well known in Traditional Chinese Medicine yet is rarely mentioned in Western medicine. Physically the spleen is a storehouse of old red blood cells as well as a supporter of the immune system by producing white blood cells during infection. Energetically the spleen supports the stomach to aid it in heating up the food so that it can be broken down properly. When we eat or drink things that are extremely cold, like ice-cream or ice-water, we put a strain on the spleen and stomach to heat up the food. So it is best to minimise or avoid these things, especially if you are prone to digestive problems.

From 11A.M. to 1P.M. the heart is most active. There are certain tastes that support certain organs. For the heart bitter and spicy tastes such as coffee, raw cocoa, or cinnamon are great to help support the heart and aid in circulation. Having raw cocoa or coffee with a sprinkle of cinnamon is great at this time.

1P.M. to 3P.M. is time for the small intestine to do its work. Now is a good time to have a nourishing lunch. Once the food is broken down in the stomach it is pushed into the small intestine where it is absorbed into the body to nourish the cells.

From 3P.M. to 5P.M the urinary bladder is the most active. If you find that you go more frequently to the bathroom to eliminate liquid waste at this time then it is because your bladder is busy doing its job.

5P.M. to 7P.M. is the time for the kidneys. At this time it is recommended to drink something warm and supportive to the kidneys such as a cup of herbal tea like dandelion, celery root or hydrangea tea. It is also recommended to take a break and have a 20 minutes cat nap.

7P.M. to 9P.M. is the time that corresponds with the pericardium. The pericardium is the sack that is found around the heart. It protects the heart by keeping it lubricated and protected from any infections that may be affecting other organs. At this time one should unwind and spend good quality time in love with family members and partners or significant others.

From 9P.M. to 11P.M the triple heater is active. In Western medicine the triple heater may be known as the autonomic nervous system. This is the time that one should be relaxing and settling down into sleep as the autonomic nervous system balances out the energy of the body and helps to process all that has happened during the day.

11P.M. to 1A.M is the gall bladder’s turn. A heavy meal before bedtime is not a good idea as it can put a strain on the gall bladder. If you find yourself restless at this time then it may be your gall bladder is working hard to help digest what you ate. It is always best to have a light meal in the evening.

t1A.M. to 3A.M. is the time reserved for the liver. This is the time when a lot of the important work, such as cleansing the blood and creating the energy needed to refuel the cells, is done. It is important to note that if you are finding yourself awake at this time of the night then your liver may need some evaluation and support.

3A.M. to 5A.M. is the time of the lungs. During this time of deep sleep the lungs are most active in bringing the much needed oxygen to the cells so that they can convert the food eaten into energy. If you find yourself waking up at this time having trouble breathing then your lungs may be in need of support.

Information courtesy of Dr Igor Cetojevic and Francesca Pinoni from their book Your Health It’s a Question of Balance pub. 2000

A little story about creatine

Revelling in my guilty pleasure, I dip my hand into the can, my mouth already awash in the imagined tastes of the tangy flavours of salt and vinegar Pringles Chips.

Crunch goes the chip, the excitement in my mouth exemplified by the shouts of my family as they watch Usain Bolt compete in the 100 metres dash.

Shooting forward to the sound of the gun, eyes ahead, arms pumping, legs stretching to cover as much ground as possible, Usain Bolt takes the lead at 3.3 seconds.

On the outside he is competing for 1st place position against 7 other highly qualified men. On the inside, unbeknownst to him and those watching, his cells are also competing in a 100 metres energy production dash and as far as we can tell, they are relying on one specific organic compound in order to win.

That compound is creatine.quotescover-JPG-28

First discovered by Michel Eugène in 1832, creatine gained its popularity within the body building industry for its association with the ability to build muscle.

Creatine does not synthesize protein, that job is left to the amino acids. However what creatine does do is regulate the energy homeostasis within a cell.4

Creatine Monohydrate pictureWithin the cells energy is released by the breaking down of a molecule called ATP (adenosine triphosphate) into ADP (adenosine diphosphate). This process usually occurs in an energy production cycle. It releases the energy needed by the cells to perform the many different functions required to keep the body alive. In moments of intense exercise ATP needs to be constantly broken down to meet the energy demands. This is where creatine comes into play.

At 7.5 seconds Usain Bolt is a full stride ahead of his competitors.

As he propels himself forward his demands for energy are intense. To meet these energy demands his body uses creatine to buffer ATP, allowing it to be replenished as quickly as possible.

When adenosine triphosphate is broken down to release energy it loses a phosphate and becomes adenosine diphosphate. Creatine, offered as phosphocreatine, donates a phosphate to ADP thus turning it back into ATP for energy usage.Creatine water osmosis

This constant supply of energy is what is allowing Usain Bolt to be well ahead of the pack at 8.9 seconds.

The benefits of creatine are felt most strongly during short periods of intense exercise like weight lifting, or sprinting. It allows the body to work longer and feel less fatigued.

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As Usain Bolt sprints to the finish line his skeletal muscles are not the only ones depending on creatine in order to win in the energy production dash. Other organs, like the heart and the brain, are also taking part keeping him alert and focused.

quotescover-JPG-66In fact creatine is so important for the brain that a lack of it has been linked to mental disorders.4 For example it has been found that many regions in the brain with tissue containing creatine transporter proteins are compromised in diseases like Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s. The same is true in psychiatric disorders as well.4

The noise being made by the spectators in the stadium seem as nothing compared to the noise being made by my family.

At 9.58 seconds Usain Bolt crosses the finish line.

He has broken the world record and has become the world’s fastest man to ever run 100 metres.

And I still have not finished my second Pringle’s chip.

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Creatine PowerPoint

Sources:

  1. Buford, Thomas W et al. “International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: Creatine Supplementation and Exercise.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 4 (2007): 6. PMC. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2048496/. 4 Apr. 2015.
  2. Summers, Spencer. “Creatine Monohydrate: A Scientific Investigation of the Physical Benefits and the Physiological Risks.” Health Psychology Home Page. Vanderbilt University Department of Psychology, 5 Oct. 2009. Web. 8 Apr. 2015. .
  3. Kimball, John, Mike Farabee, A. Daniel Johnson, and Jessica Blackburn. “Why Is ATP so Good for Storing Energy?” BioBook. The Adapa Project, 19 Sept. 2014. Web. 8 Apr. 2015. .
  4. Allen, Patricia J. “Creatine Metabolism and Psychiatric Disorders: Does Creatine Supplementation Have Therapeutic Value?” Neuroscience and Bio-behavioural Reviews 36.5 (2012): 1442–1462. PMC. Web. 19 Apr. 2015.
  5. Longo N, Ardon O, Vanzo R, Schwartz E, Pasquali M. 2011. Disorders of creatine transport and metabolism. Am J Med Genet Part C Semin Med Genet 9999:1–7.
  6. Willis, Joanna, Rachael Jones, Nneka Nwokolo, and Jeremy Levy. “Protein and Creatine Supplements and Misdiagnosis of Kidney Disease.” The BMJ. The British Medical Journal, 8 Jan. 2010. Web. 29 Apr. 2015. .

What is the secret to a long and fulfilled life?

Physicist_Stephen_Hawking_in_Zero_Gravity_NASAAfter watching The Theory of Everything, the movie depicting the life of Stephen Hawking, my dear friend and I wondered how a man, who in his early twenties was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease and given a mere  two years to live, came to be seventy-three and still seemingly going strong? We came to the conclusion that  a life that is lived with purpose and filled with continuous learning, as his, keeps one going strong no matter the circumstances. Stephen Hawking is the example.

So no excuses for us! Many hours of learning and compiling went into bringing you this information. So, please browse through, learn a lil’ something, leave a comment or two, and of course SHARE!

As always,

Thank you 😉

A Shot to Live – Vitamin B12

A paediatrician was doing his rounds in the hospital one day when he tripped over his own feet. He regained his balance and carried on walking. This was the second time his feet had dragged. He had also begun having memory lapses, what he called brain fog, and he related this and his clumsiness to the ails of getting old.1

Carrying on as usual, he began to notice that he was losing his balance. A little concerned he called his friend, an MD, and asked him about balance and equilibrium, thinking maybe it could be an issue with his inner ear.1

Leaning towards caution his friend told him to see a neurologist, a doctor trained in diagnosing and treating issues related to the nervous system such as disorders of the brain, spinal cord, nerves and muscles.

After many consultations, the neurologist told the paediatrician he had Multiple System Atrophy; he was dying from an incurable neurodegenerative disease.1 His nerves, muscles, organs and brain were deteriorating.

As the months went by the paediatrician began to wither and waste away. He became blind, deaf, immobile, and had to wear a diaper. He would get angry at times and yell at his family and friends to just let him die but they would not give up.

So, ignoring the wishes of the dying paediatrician, one day his best friend bundled him into a car and took him to a different hospital. Some tests later he was correctly diagnosed with a vitamin B12 deficiency and given appropriate care in the form of aggressive B12 shots.1

As time went by the paediatrician slowly began to recover. During his sessions with the physical therapist he would wonder how it is possible that in this day and age there are people who are deficient in a vitamin. He would also remember, when he could, how he thought vitamin B12 and its rumoured effects was just a placebo.1

But it isn’t a placebo.

You see every cell in your body is in need of vitamin B12 to help it within the process of DNA synthesis.   B12 helps with DNA methylation which is important when it comes to gene expression and vital cellular processes. 4

red-41524_1280Every nerve cell in your body needs vitamin B12 to help maintain its protective covering known as the myelin sheath. With a depleted myelin sheath nerve cells cannot communicate as effectively.

Before the 1980s vitamin B12 shots were covered by insurance companies.1 Doctors were able to offer shots to their patients and found that maladies such as fatigue and mild depression were cured.1

After the 1980s, when insurance companies no longer covered B12 shots, unless conclusive evidence of B12 deficiency was proven, doctors stopped freely administering this shot.1

One way to prove that an individual is suffering from a lack of B12 is via a blood test to see the shape of the red blood cells. These cells should appear enlarged due to B12 deficiency. However vitamin B9, commonly known as Folic Acid, corrects for this abnormality.1

Another way to prove a vitamin B12 deficiency is via a blood count, a low level of red blood cells circulating in the blood, known as pernicious anaemia, is a sign that the body lacks the amount of B12 necessary to make haemoglobin.1

The only problem is macrocytosis, enlarged red blood cells, and pernicious anaemia, are late findings of a vitamin B12 deficiency.1

A deficiency in vitamin B12 can be pernicious. Here are a few early signs and symptoms:

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  • Anxiety and/or depression (low B12 interferes with the production of serotonin)1
  • Tingling or numbness in extremities
  • Inability to see clearly/ blurry vision
  • Brain fog
  • Chest pains
  • Dragging feet
  • Mood swings
  • A faster than normal heart rate or tachycardia
  • Oedema
  • Compulsive behaviours1
  • Delusions
  • Dementia

These are just a few.

Vitamin B12 can be stored in the liver for up to 5 years.3 This store is constantly replenished when we consume meat products. However for those of us lacking a proper nourishing diet our stores of this essential vitamin becomes depleted. This is especially distressing if you are vegan or vegetarian.

A vitamin B12 shot is a good way to get this vitamin directly to your cells. Just be aware of two things:

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To get a complete view of your body’s vitamin B12 needs there are 5 tests to be done:1

  1. Serum B12 – this can be misleading. Just because you have vitamin B12 circulating in your body does not mean it is reaching your cells or that you liver has an adequate amount storedquotescover-JPG-23
  1. HoloTranscobalamin – this will test for the “active” B12 that is attached to the appropriate transport protein to be delivered to your cells.
  1. Serum Homocysteine – this is toxic to the nerves and veins and needs B12 to convert it into methionine, an amino acid.
  1. Serum Methylmalonic acid – this acids needs B12 to react with it in order to make coenzyme A (CoA) which is important for the cells to function normally.
  1. Unsaturated B12 binding capacity – this test will look for the total unbound trans-cobalamin, the protein needed to transport B12 into the cells. Some people lack an adequate amount of this protein.

A paediatrician is doing his rounds in the hospital. He is unsteady on his feet and needs two crutches in order to walk.

His name is Dr David Carr.

Dr Carr’s body is slowly rebuilding itself. It is part of his story that I relate above. He is featured in the movie by Elissa Leonard titled Diagnosing and Treating Vitamin B12 Deficiency.

I have included the link below.

Please watch and share.

Sources:

  1. Diagnosing and Treating Vitamin B12 Deficiency</i>. Perf. Sally Pacholock, David Carr MD, Ralph Green MD, Et Al. 2011.Elissa Leonard Film.
  2. Adams, J. F. “Biological Half-life of Vitamin B12 in Plasma.” Nature200 (1963). Nature. Nature Publishing Group. Web. 29 Mar. 2015. <http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v198/n4876/abs/198200a0.html#References&gt;.
  3. Balch, Phyllis A. “Vitamins.” <i>Prescription for Nutritional Healing</i>. 5th ed. New York: Avery, 2010. 23,24. Print.
  4. Phillips, Theresa. “The Role of Methylation in Gene Expression.” Nature.com. Nature Publishing Group, 1 Jan. 2008. Web. 29 Mar. 2015. <http://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/the-role-of-methylation-in-gene-expression-1070&gt;.
  5. Oh, Robert C., and David L. Brown. “Vitamin B12 Deficiency.” Am Fam Physician 67.5 (2003): 979-86. American Family Physician. American Academy of Family Physicians. Web. 3 Apr. 2015. <http://www.aafp.org/afp/2003/0301/p979.html&gt;.

Milk thistle, Your Liver’s Most Powerful Friend

Silybum Marianum, a herb whose scientific last name sounds a lot like my first name Mariama, is a herb after my own heart.

Also called Mary thistle, Marian thistle, Lady’s thistle, Holy thistle, and the wild artichoke, its most popular name is Milk thistle due to the milky sap that oozes from its leaves.

milk-thistle-393005_1280For over 2000 years this herb has been used as a way to treat issues of the liver, gallbladder, stomach, and intestines.1, 3

In the late 20th Century, after thousands of years of folk-lore medicine’s testimonials of the great benefits of Milk thistle, especially for the liver, western medicine finally took notice.

In 1986 the German Commission E, a scientific board setup to look into the safety and efficacy of herbs for prescription by medical practitioners, gave the approval for the use of Milk thistle as a treatment for liver diseases such as cirrhosis, hepatitis, and the deposits of fatty substances due to over consumption of alcohol and other toxic chemicals. 2

So how does this amazing herb, which can grow to 6 feet or more, do its work?

Milk thistle has an active ingredient within it called Silymarin. Silymarin is extracted from the seeds of the Milk thistle plant. It is a bioflavonoid complex made up of three isomers:

  • Silybin
  • Silydianin
  • Silychristin

In the human body these flavonoids are beneficial as anti-oxidants: they help to protect the body against free radicals. These flavonoids also help the body to deal with inflammation. They are anti-viral, and also have some properties that help with the fighting of cancer.2, 4

With these amazing flavonoid abilities found in Milk thistle studies have shown that this herb can help reverse damage done to hepatocytes, which are liver cells. It also has the ability to help normalize elevated levels of liver enzymes, which leak into the bloodstream when the liver is inflamed or injured.2

Amanita_phalloides_1Milk thistle works directly on the cell membranes of the liver cells by stopping toxins from entering into the cells. It also slows down the absorption of toxins by the liver and instead guides them to the kidneys for excretion. The best example of this is the fact that Milk thistle has the ability to stop poisons from Amanita phalloides, the death cap mushroom, from entering into the liver. Even if treated 36 hours after being poisoned, the administration of silybin, the most active of the three flavonoids in Milk thistle, has helped those poisoned to make a full recovery.2

Milk thistle is also able to stimulate the synthesis of protein in the liver through the enzyme RNA polymerase I. This helps the liver to repair any cells that have Hepato-biliarybeen damaged as well as generate new cells. Research has also found that silybin, the most active component of silymarin, has the same effect in the kidneys.2

Just as Milk thistle has an effect on liver and kidney cells, so too does it help to normalise the replication of skin cells by having a direct effect on cAMP and cGMP which are compounds that, among other things, work to govern the multiplication and growth of skin cells.5

With over 300 clinical and laboratory trials already done, research on Milk thistle is still ongoing. 2 There is mounting evidence that Milk thistle may have the ability to help with skin cancer. This makes sense since it has such high flavonoid content.

There are no known contra-indications but those taking medications that raise cytochrome P450 enzymes, which are important for the breaking down of certain medications, should be wary of medication dosages.

Otherwise Milk thistle has been shown to be safe even during pregnancy and has been used to help with lactation.

Sources:

  1. Murray, N.D, Michael T. “Excerpt: The Healing Power of Herbs.” Liversupport.com. Prima, 1 Jan. 1995. Web. 27 Mar. 2015. <http://www.liversupport.com/the-healing-power-of-herbs/&gt;.
  1. McCaleb, Robert S., Evelyn Leigh, and Krista Morien. “The Encyclopedia of Popular Herbs, Your Complete Guide to the Leading Medicinal Plants.” Excerpt: The Encyclopedia of Popular Herbs. Prima Health, 1 Jan. 2000. Web. 27 Mar. 2015. .
  1. “The #1 Researched and Recommended Herb for Liver Health and More!” Milk Thistle. Natural Wellness, 1 Jan. 2015. Web. 27 Mar. 2015. <http://www.liversupport.com/milk-thistle/&gt;.
  1. Robertson, Sally. “What Are Flavonoids?” <i>News Medical The Latest Developments in Life Sciences & Medicine</i>. 2 Dec. 2014. Web. 27 Mar. 2015. &lt;http://www.news-medical.net/health/What-are-Flavonoids.aspx&gt;.
  1. Duman RS, Nestler EJ. Functional Roles for cAMP and cGMP. In: Siegel GJ, Agranoff BW, Albers RW, et al., editors. Basic Neurochemistry: Molecular, Cellular and Medical Aspects. 6th edition. Philadelphia: Lippincott-Raven; 1999. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK27915/

What to look for in a mineral supplement

You have walked into a pharmacy or health shop and have made your way to the vitamins and minerals section to find a good mineral supplement. Do you know what to look for?

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Here is a small table to help guide you as you read the labels:

Organic substrates Inorganic substrates
Recognised and used by the body Body cannot utilise
Glycinate Carbonate
Picolinate Oxidate
Malate Phosphate
Citrate Sulphate
Gluconate

A substrate is anything that binds a mineral. When reading the labels pay attention to the substrate to which the mineral is bound.

Any minerals attached to the organic substrates glycinate, picolinate, malate, citrate, and gluconate are easily recognised by the body and therefore are termed bioavailable. These will be easily absorbed and utilized.

Any minerals attached to the substrates carbonate, oxidate, phosphate, and sulphate are not utilized by the body and therefore are not broken down or absorbed. As minerals bound to these substrates are not absorbed they may end up being deposited in the arteries and clogging them, or cause such things as kidney stones.

The second thing to pay attention to is the amount that is really available. This amount should be labelled as the elemental amount or simply elemental.

The elemental amount is the percentage, usually in milligrams or micrograms (mcg), of the total mineral that will be used by the body. So if you need a daily allowance of say 300mg of magnesium then the elemental amount should be 300mg even if the total amount is 500mg. Of the 500mg only 300mg will be absorbed.

These two things should always be labelled on the mineral supplements you are purchasing.